On 21 July, Tunisia notified the World Trade Organization (WTO) Committee on Safeguards of its initiation of a safeguard investigation on iron or non-alloy steel wires, classifiable in tariff subheadings 72171050002 and 72171090100, for the manufacture of furniture/upholstery springs, on 19 July.
The investigation was initiated by the Minister of Trade and Export Development following a complaint made by the MAKLADA Group in its capacity as the only national producer of wire of iron or non-alloy steel used in the manufacture of upholstery springs in Tunisia.
Imports of wire of iron or non-alloy steel used in the manufacture of upholstery springs rose from 1 275 tonnes in 2017 to around 4 728 tonnes in 2021, while domestic production stagnated, and local market sales fell during that same period.
The complainant has provided evidence of a decline in its activity during the 2017-2021 period.
A preliminary study of the complaint has been carried out by the relevant services of the Ministry of Trade and Export Development which shows evidence that warranted the initiation of a safeguard investigation.
Interested parties can submit their comments within 45 days from the date of publication to the Ministère du Commerce et du Développement des Exportations: Direction Générale du Commerce Extérieur: Angle entre les Rues Ghana et Pierre de Coubertin et Hédi Nouira - Tunis - 1001, Tunisia. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com
What is a safeguard investigation?
A safeguard investigation seeks to determine whether increased imports of a product are causing, or threatening to cause, serious injury to a domestic industry.
During a safeguard investigation, importers, exporters and other interested parties may present evidence and views and respond to the presentations of other parties.
A WTO member may take a safeguard action i.e. restrict imports of a product temporarily, only if the increased imports of the product are found to be causing, or threatening to cause, serious injury.